Discuss the function of the inspector in the play as a whole An Inspector Calls was written by J. B Priestly. This play intertwines the life of a pretty young woman who was driven to suicide by a well known respectable family. But it has a deeper more sinister meaning and morale to the story. That mankind has to learn from mistakes or it will have to repay them in blood and anguish. The inspector’s role in the play is more than being a police officer, but being with God and teaching mankind a lesson.
The play is set in 1912; it was performed and written in 1945. Priestly shows the inspectors important role by the phrases he uses. He portrays the faults of mankind and the consequences of those blunders that the audience had to face some thirty years earlier. Before the inspector arrives the mood is light hearted, jovial and happy. Birling’s speeches before the inspector has arrived are very ignorant, and he doesn’t see what’s in front of him and what could happen to him if he doesn’t smarten up. As the inspector’s arrival draws closer Birling’s talking to Gerald about how he could get a knight hood, he continues by saying.
“So long as we behave our selves, don’t get into the police or start a scandal.” But he doesn’t consider what his words could bring about. Also its quiet a slap in the face when he says this and an inspector arrives, what a coincidence as he makes that comment a police officer arrives. The inspector is due any moment while Birling is making a speech about community and how you have to look after number one he says “But the way some of these cranks talk and write now, you’d think everybody has to look after everybody else, as if we were all mixed up together like bees in a hive- community and all that nonsense”, these comments are juxtaposed with the arrival of the inspector at the door, its setting him up to be knocked down. The inspector arrives to challenge Birling’s capitalist. As Birling says these words he doesn’t realise that this is true, and it’s happening to him. “Bees in a hive”, this comment shows how Birling tries to relate humans with bees, but the main difference is that bees all have equal status and were they help each other in a community whereas humans have a community, were we don’t help each other, and we don’t look after each other and take responsibilities, but Birling doesn’t like this idea, he looks after number one and has no care for lower people in different classes.
... when they first arrive at SU, to feel comfortable as a member of the floor community. I think the Community Action Plan ... This understanding is infinitely important when trying to build a community based in respect, trust, and responsibility. Stimulating interest in ... guidelines to achieve this sort of residence atmosphere.By setting community standards, everyone knows from the very beginning what our ...
When Edna says an inspector has called, Birling has gone on the defensive. He says in a sharp monosyllabic way. “An inspector what kind of inspector.” He sounds almost scandalized, abused. So the name of the inspector has made Birling go on the defensive.
We the audience don’t trust Birling because of his ignorant comments about the war and the Titanic being unsinkable. The inspector then arrives and his very presence lets us trust him. His way of speaking. His weight in his words slows the pace down to what he likes. He demonstrates this ability to hold the play to his own pace in many parts of the play.
The inspector doesn’t rabble on like the rest of them he stays calm and cool. He controls the pace of the play with this calmness and authority he has over the Birling family. When the pace starts to speed up with someone trying to give a speech or have an argument, he stops them with his authoritative voice. He slows the play down and builds a lot of tension but not only that but he inspires a sense of mystery as to whom this person is and what is his function; is it to teach the Birling a lesson, send them to jail, as he is an inspector or is he? It turns out later that he isn’t a police officer but a ghost like his name “Goole” which means ghost or spirit. Is he something other than that? Could he be a messenger from God giving a message not only to them but to everyone to not forget what responsibilities we hold in our daily life? This brings up Questions about Priestly. Is Priestly a messenger of God, a time traveller, or a mystical being? Does he have an insight into the world that we don’t? Or is he just smart enough not to let status and ignorance change his ways or go to his head.
... which can make you cry; it can make you think. I believe that we all feel compassion at ... things too. By realizing this, we somehow feel better. We then start feeling a responsibility towards ... absolutely innocent became victims of religious fanaticism. I feel compassion for Tigran's wife, child, and all ... to someone or something. For example, I feel empathy and compassion for victims of the September ...
When the inspector starts to question Birling, he goes on the back foot straight away; he denies knowing the girl at first. But when he sees the picture he can’t deny it anymore. But the inspector has a chance to show Gerald and Eric the photo but he doesn’t this slows the pace down to what he likes. This is very odd to the Audience as they expect the truth to come out straight away but the inspector plays it cool buys some time, slows the pace of the play down to make the audience more tense, as not showing Gerald and Eric the photo gives a feeling to suspense and tenseness.
Sheila’s not as ignorant and sees that human life needs to be respected and looked after. She demonstrates this by saying “But These Girls aren’t cheap labour-they ” re people.” Sheila is the only one in the family who doesn’t have the same ignorant, class orientated views of her father. She feels for these people. The inspector has realised she’s easily impressionable and takes her under his wing But then she had Eva sacked from her job in Mil wards so its making Sheila feel Guilty, one of the main themes of the play. He plays along with her by saying “It would do as all a bit of good if sometimes we tried to put ourselves in the place of these young women counting pennies.” He relates to Sheila by he feels sorry for these people and that they shouldn’t be treated like that. This comment makes Sheila stick to the inspector as he shows her that not all people are class orientated.
There is a big contrast during the entire play, of the happiness and wedding with the misery of death. This is shown by Birling saying “We were having a nice little family celebration tonight and a nasty mess you ” ve made of it now.” The inspector replies by saying “That’s what I was thinking earlier tonight, when I was in the infirmary looking at what was left of Eva Smith.” This comment makes the inspector seem as though he is out for revenge. To avenge the death of a young women and the hands of the Birling family. He’s also able to manipulate the situation so it favours him, so he can work against them. The inspector says “A nasty mess somebody of it.” He doesn’t mention names; this slows the pace down as it was starting to speed up. Also it builds suspense as to who is to blame they already know the entire family’s involved but the “somebody” starts the blame game.
... you'll feel better. (An Inspector Calls: Act 3; J.B. Priestley) It is only the younger members of Birling's (Sheila and Eric ... position. (An Inspector Calls: Act 2; J.B. Priestley) What Mrs. Birling makes herself believe as “airs” were, in fact, Eva/Daisy simply refusing ... B. Priestley) In Act Two the Inspector makes Gerald Croft talk about his acquaintance with Eva Smith/Daisy Renton. There seems to be ...
When the inspector starts to question Sheila she admits to it Straight away. She shows remorse and the inspector doesn’t make her feel insignificant, just tells her what she has done and makes her feel bad. The inspector says “well we ” ll try to understand why it had to happen and that’s why I’m here tonight.” He uses “we ” ll”, he’s referring to the audience, trying to involve them, Get them to feel what’s going on, and make them feel like the prosecutors of the Birling’s. Giving them a sense of involvement and feeling. Why you fool he knows, of course he knows and I hate to think how much he knows that we don’t know yet, you ” ll see you ” ll see.” In a way Sheila already knows what’s going to happen, she at least tries to accept it.
She’s acting as almost a side-kick to the inspector, when he’s not there she’s asking questions and inquiring. The inspector uses Sheila against the other characters, by taking her side, bringing up her age, the amount of agony and pain she was in when Eva was dying and the contrast of Sheila’s happiness and Eva’s misery it makes Sheila feel guilty as to why should she have all this happiness when someone who was innocent of doing nothing was driven to death. The inspector knows Sheila understands him. So he works with her.
This gives the impression that Sheila is his partner almost. They work against Mrs Birling. But Sheila does try to help her, give her advice, she chooses to ignore this continues in her arrogant, ignorant way as her husband did. When it looks as though Birling’s going off on a long speech the inspector cuts In with authority power to stop him, and Birling tries to stomp his territory by using his long droning speeches, the inspector just over powers him using vocabulary, making Birling seem weak and feel angry. The inspector controls the entire pace of the play by using his bluntness and words. And example of this is when he says; “And then you decided to keep her as your mistress?” Just talking about Daisy Renton being in a bar to being Gerald’s Mistress, this just comes out of the blue and shocks everyone.
... only way for the Inspector to avenge Eva Smith was to make the people in question feel guilty. The Birling parents will not accept any ... another woman whilst he was in a strong relationship with Sheila. Mrs. Birling makes several comments to prove that she agrees with her ...
So he (Priestly) shows how he controls the pace of the play like that in such places. The inspector humiliates Gerald in front of everyone, by bringing up the affair; it makes Gerald feel like nothing, dirt, rubbish, so he leaves feeling ashamed of himself. Gerald being in the bar where he met Eva shows that he doesn’t really care about class, also he is marrying someone lower down in the class system even though his parents don’t approve but he doesn’t care. Once the inspector starts interviewing Mrs Birling, she is also bring very stubborn and not seeing what’s in front of her,” public men, Mr Birling have responsibility as well as privileges.” He’s saying the Birling family weren’t taking responsibility for what they done. Saying they should own up to what they ” ve done to Eva and take responsibility. The inspector goes on to interview Mrs Birling were she admits being prejudiced against Eva Smiths case for having her last name.
She refused her point blank because of that and because she wasn’t very open about her situation. But what makes Mrs Birling look cold and silly is that Eva Smith was having a baby. The inspector tricked Mrs Birling into confessing, as well as putting the blame on her son. In a way the inspector used everyone against themselves.
He used there arrogance and stupidity to get what he needed from them. This phrase “To do my duty,” Is said just before Eric arrives and sounds as though he’s been doing nothing up until know and he’s waiting to make the final judgement. The inspector even lets Eric have a drink he almost sympathies with Eric. After interviewing Eric he says they ” re all to blame some more than others.
But they all treated her like nothing they threw her out and took advantage of her because of her strong will and mind her good looks and her desperation. But still they refused her at the last chance and left her to peril. The inspectors last speech makes them all feel responsible. But there needs to be responsibility for other people like Eva Smith. He makes them all feel connected, as though what they do will affect everyone. “We are members of one body,” everything in the body is connected and it makes them all feel as though there are, one person, one body, one community, one world and that we are responsible for each other, also he uses we again referring to the audience to make them feel like one of this body, to make them feel a little bit responsible as well.
How does Shakespeare make the Audience feel sympathy towards Juliet in Act 3 Scene 5? ... Capulet family. Throughout Act 3 Scene 5 the audience feel sympathy for Juliet because at first, her cousin Tybalt ... the county Paris, at Saint Peters church, shall happily make thee a joyful bride.” Her Mother and Father do ... , young baggage” at this point the audience would feel sorry for Juliet as she is in a major ...
“They will be taught it in Fire and Blood and Anguish.” This phrase talks about the two world wars where mankind didn’t learn its lesson first time around so it made the same mistake and it was paid in the form of the lives lost during those two wars. Priestly is writing about his personal experiences of the war he had to face. After this they discover that the inspector is a fake (so they think) so they can just carry on as per usual. But Sheila and Eric have learnt they ” re lesson and they will change their ways for the better. The older generation have not improved and continue in the same way. When the phone call telling them Eva Smith has died they have just been taught a lesson they wouldn’t forget and they did…
within seconds! It shows the faults of mankind and the blood, pain and anguish is being paid by the Birling’s. The inspectors function isn’t just in the play but in real life. We have to see our own responsibilities and we have to take the blame for the actions we do wrong. But Priestly wanted to show what narrow minded, ignorant people can drive innocent young hard working people to do.
The play title “An inspector calls” has nothing written about who it goes out to or what time period. So maybe it applies to everyone, making it a universal timeless theme. An inspector may be calling you.
... old caused the young to suffer with the two World Wars. The inspector’s visit therefore represents the “anguish” of the First ... be done. Within a week of the end of the war, An Inspector Calls was written, expressing the urgency with which change ... it finished. The second inspector is the one that teaches the Birlings thus representing the Second World War, and the socialism that ...